Science Inc – Igniting passion and challenging oneself
The Science Department provides inquiry-based and experiential learning that inspires students to learn Science as a subject in which they can “think globally” and “act locally”.
- Equip students with scientific skills that are relevant and useful in their daily lives, and encourage safety consciousness and safe practices.
- Empower students with curiosity, interest and passion in science, and help them to link scientific theories to real world issues such as conservation of species and climate change.
- Enable students to acquire in-depth scientific knowledge and understanding, so that they can ready for post-secondary education.
- Science Curriculum Projects, Activities and Competitions
Inquiry-based pedagogies, Multiple-Intelligences and Habits of Mind strategies are infused into lessons to inculcate the spirit of scientific inquiry. for example, during Secondary Two biology lessons, students work in groups to do research on the nutritional requirements of a professional athlete of their choice and then recommend a preferred diet that gives the right balance of strength and energy.Teachers also organise the flowing activities and competitions to make the learning of science fun and engaging
Data-Logger Programme for Lower Secondary
All Secondary One and Two students take part in data-logger programmes as part of their post-examination activities. Secondary One students will learn how to use the data-logger and temperature and pH sensors. They will carry out simple inquiry experiments such as measuring the temperature changes in a liquid to obtain its cooling curve. This allows them to practice their skills of observation and make inferences from data.
Secondary Two students will work together in pairs to conduct chemistry experiments such as titration to understand acid-base reactions and used the pH sensors to determine the end-point. Students have to find out the thermal conductivity of different types of materials in the physics task. The guided inquiry process helps students to be self-directed learners and work collaboratively to obtain experimental data to reach conclusions.
Engineering and Science Discovery Programme
Getting students interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is an integral aspect of science education in secondary schools. 28 Secondary Three students from our school participated in the Engineering and Science Discovery Programme jointly organised by the polytechnics on 14 October 2015.
Students were treated to a series of fun and interesting programmes such as a magic show by a polytechnic lecturer, and talks by Mr Lim Seng, director of the Singapore space capsule mission and an international speaker in science communications. The students also had the opportunity to interact with technologies and innovations in areas such as robotics, engineering and programming. Students learnt more about real-world applications of science and engineering and gained a greater interest in STEM careers.
Inquiry-based Activities on Electricity
As electricity is a major topic in the Physics curriculum, the Physics unit embarked on efforts to build up and enhance teaching resources to help students visualise and understand principles of electricity through hands-on inquiry-based activities. Students are engaged in active learning as they work together collaboratively to conduct experiments in a self-directed manner.
For instance, on the topic of electrostatics, Secondary Three Express students participated in inquiry trails whereby they move around stations to carry out investigations using everyday objects. One of the stations involves carrying out an exercise to rub rulers made of plastic, wood and metal over three types of materials to find out which causes static electricity and make inferences based on the observations.
Secondary Two students were also given the opportunity to learn concepts of electricity in a guided inquiry process. They went through inquiry trails that consisted of stations that required them to manipulate variables such as resistance, explore the components of the power plug and connect an electrical circuit.
3.8K Challenge for Secondary 1 students
The 3.8K Challenge is an inter-class Chemistry on-line competition organised for Secondary One students. Students logged into the AsknLearn portal to answer questions on topics such as scientific endeavour, elements, compounds and mixtures and separation techniques. Five questions were posted each school day over a period of four weeks from 23 March to 17 April 2015. Class 1/5 won the challenge with the highest score obtained for the total number of correct answers per class!
Learning journeys are organised by the Science Department to provide authentic experiences for students. For example, plant reproduction and ecosystem diversity are topics in the Biology and Science (Biology) syllabus where learning is enriched if it is situated in an authentic context. Given Singapore’s reputation as a garden city, students would benefit from learning about how conservation measures are implemented to ensure biodiversity and sustainability in gardens and parks, particularly in the Singapore Botanical Gardens (SBG), which is Singapore’s first UNESCO world heritage site.
Our biology teachers have designed the learning journey to help them link concepts on plant structure and function with external characteristics and pollination patterns of plants. Students observed heritage trees such as the Silk Cotton Tree, Tembusu tree (featured on the back of $5 note), and the Burmese Banyan. Students visited the SBG museum to find out more about the rich history of the gardens. The second half of the day was spent at National Orchid Garden where students could appreciate the beauty of wild and cross-breed orchids and learn more about Singapore’s successful orchid-breeding programme.